16 releases (5 stable)

1.0.4 Aug 4, 2023
1.0.3 Mar 31, 2023
1.0.2 Feb 21, 2023
1.0.1 Nov 1, 2022
0.2.0 Apr 30, 2021

#531 in Magic Beans

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320 downloads per month
Used in txood

MIT license


MIT license Crates Docs

Blocks iterator

Iterates over Bitcoin blocks, decoding data inside Bitcoin Core's blocks directory.


  • Blocks are returned in height order, it avoids following reorgs (see Config::max_reorg parameter)
  • Blocks come with extra data BlockExtra like all block's previous outputs, it allows computing transactions fee or verifying scripts in the blockchain.

Iteration modes

In rust programs

Used as a library blocks could be iterated via the [iter()] method like:

// "blocks" dir contains first 400 testnet blocks
let conf = blocks_iterator::Config::new("blocks", bitcoin::Network::Testnet);
let mut total_fee = 0u64;
for b in blocks_iterator::iter(conf) {
  total_fee += b.fee().expect("fee available cause we are keeping prevouts");

// Only a bunch of tx with fee exists on testnet with height < 400
// in blocks: 385, 387, 389, 390, 392, 394
assert_eq!(total_fee, 450_000u64);

When the task to be performed is computational costly, like verifying spending conditions, it is suggested to parallelize the execution like it's done with rayon (or similar) in the verify example (note par_bridge() call).

Through Pipes

Other than inside Rust programs, ordered blocks with previous outputs could be iterated using Unix pipes.

$ cargo build --release 
$ cargo build --release --examples
$ ./target/release/blocks_iterator --blocks-dir ~/.bitcoin/testnet3/blocks --network testnet --max-reorg 40 --stop-at-height 200000 | ./target/release/examples/with_pipe
[2023-03-31T15:01:23Z INFO  with_pipe] Max number of txs: 6287 block: 0000000000bc915505318327aa0f18568ce024702a024d7c4a3ecfe80a893d6c
[2023-03-31T15:01:23Z INFO  with_pipe] total missing reward: 50065529986 in 100 blocks
[2023-03-31T15:01:23Z INFO  with_pipe] most_output tx is 640e22b5ddee1f6d2d701e37877027221ba5b36027634a2e3c3ee1569b4aa179 with #outputs: 10001

If you have more consumer process you can concatenate pipes by passing stdout to PipeIterator::new or using tee utility to split the stdout of blocks_iterator. The latter is better because it doesn't require re-serialization of the data.

Memory requirements and performance

Running (cargo run --release -- --network X --blocks-dir Y >/dev/null) on threadripper 1950X, Testnet @ 2130k, Mainnet @ 705k. Spinning disk. Take following benchmarks with a grain of salt since they refer to older versions.

Network --skip--prevout --max-reorg utxo-db Memory Time
Mainnet true 6 no 33MB 1h:00m
Mainnet false 6 no 5.3GB 1h:29m
Mainnet false 6 1 run 201MB 9h:42m
Mainnet false 6 2 run 113MB 1h:05m
Testnet true 40 no 123MB 3m:03s
Testnet false 40 no 1.4GB 8m:02s
Testnet false 40 1 run 247MB 16m:12s
Testnet false 40 2 run 221MB 8m:32s


To build docs:

RUSTDOCFLAGS="--cfg docsrs" cargo +nightly doc --all-features --open


Run examples with:

cargo run --release --example verify

Version 1.0 meaning

The 1.0 is not to be intended as battle-tested production-ready library, the binary format of BlockExtra changed and I wanted to highlight it with major version rollout.

Similar projects

  • bitcoin-iterate this project inspired blocks_iterator, the differences are:
    • It is C-based
    • It's more suited for shell piping, while blocks_iterator can be used with piping but also as a rust library
    • It doesn't give previous outputs information
    • It is making two passage over blocks*.dat serially, while blocks_iterator is doing two passes in parallel.
  • rust-bitcoin-indexer this project requires longer setup times (about 9 hours indexing) and a postgre database, once the indexing is finished it allows fast queries on relational database.
  • electrs specifically intended for the Electrum protocol


Check minimum rust version run in CI, as of Aug 2023 is:

  • 1.60.0 without features (needs some pinning, check CI)
  • 1.66.0 with features.


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